Influence of ascorbic acid supplementation on copper status in young adult men Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9z903296x

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  • Thirteen healthy adult males, ages 20-40, consuming self selected diets, were given instructions to take one 500 mg tablet of ascorbic acid three times a day with their meals for a period of ten weeks. The effect of this daily supplementation on copper status was investigated. An estimation made from a three day diet record kept by each subject indicated their dietary copper intake to be 1.92 mg per day. Determination of serum ceruloplasmin and serum copper done on the first day of the ascorbic acid supplementation period showed that the subjects fell within accepted ranges of normal. All further determinations of these parameters during the experimental period were compared to initial values so that each subject served as his own control. At week seven the high ascorbic acid intake significantly decreased ceruloplasmin by 26 percent. At the end of the ten week ascorbic acid supplementation period, serum ceruloplasmin activity was significantly lowered by 20 percent. The slight increase over week seven was attributed to a drop in compliance to taking the ascorbic acid tablets. Serum copper levels were not significantly affected during the 10 week experimental period although a consistent decrease was observed. Two weeks after acerbic acid was terminated serum ceruloplasmin activity increased but was not significantly different from week ten values. However, when compared to week seven values, a significant increase of 14 percent was observed. Serum copper levels measured two weeks after ascorbic acid supplementation was terminated significantly increased 14 percent over week ten values. The results of this human volunteer study indicate that taking a megadose of ascorbic acid for ten weeks will significantly decrease serum ceruloplasmin activity much like that observed in laboratory animal studies. Based on this finding, one may question the safety of prolonged self-dosage of high amounts of ascorbic acid by adults as encouraged by the popular press.
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